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    James Smallwood

    Can the Voidspren bonded by the Regals be killed and become deadeyes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Voidspren bonded by the Regals, right, okay. I'll RAFO that for now. I haven't gotten into the mechanics of the Regals nearly as much as I want to eventually get into it.

    Let's just say something weird is happening to make deadeyes. They didn't exist before the Recreance. There should be a relationship here that reminds you of something else you've seen in the Cosmere.

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    James M

    According to Cord, Rock drew the Bow of Hours at the dawn of the new millennium. Roshar is at year 1173. Do Horneaters have a different calendar, or is Rock just really really old?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Rock is not really old, that's a different calendar. Rock is not old enough to have drawn that bow 74 years ago.

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    Shaed cloak

    How do proper lighteyed women play instruments that require two hands?

    Brandon Sanderson

    With gloves. If they want to.

    The whole thing breaks down, just like a lot of sexist societal constructions, when you actually start to pick at it. Because you'd be like, "She's playing a flute. That's 'one handed,' is it?" "Yes it is, look, she's holding it one handed and blowing." "And those fingers that she's using in order to make...?" "Oh, those don't count. That's still a one-handed art." "Why is that one-handed?" "Because we said so; haven't you read the book?"

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    Does Shallan's "I killed my spren" count as a truth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna leave up to theorizing, figuring out the timeline that's going on with Shallan. What we can say is that Shallan is reconstructing, in many cases, oaths she has said before. And it is working slightly differently than someone who is saying new oaths. And indeed, saying she killed her spren is one of those steps. I'll leave it to you to try and parse through that. It's actually pretty complicated. We have a nice big page explaining all of this stuff internally, to make sure that we're keeping it all straight. Because she has violated oaths and reconstructed them, is basically what's happening. And she is regressing, and she's doing a... 1.1 steps forward, 1 step back, sort of thing, kind of frequently.

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    The UV wavelength is wider for Voidlight. Is there an Investiture reason why the bands are wider instead of brighter? Wider bands doesn't make sense in physics, due to Snell's law, but brighter works.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The reason I did this, I actually did this very intentionally. This can go two ways. What I'm hoping you'll see is: this is Brandon understanding the physics of our world and saying, "It's okay to let go, because I am not using the physics of our world." This is supposed to say to you, "All right, I understand this doesn't work the way it's supposed to." Because what I'm doing with the constructive and destructive interference requires Cosmere intervention in order to actually work. Destructive interference is not magically different in any way than constructive interference, or than any other sound wave, it's just where you position it. You couldn't look at it by itself and be like, "Oh, that is the anti-song to this song." That's not how it works. The anti-song to this song a song that is aligned differently; they sound the same to you. They're just played in such a way that is destructive interference. And I needed there to be a dividing line that said, "We are actually working in Cosmere physics here."

    And the main reason to do that is that, the nuts-and-bolts reason, is so that those who knew their physics could be like, "Ah, okay, we are in a fantasy world. We are in a world where people don't irradiate each other with redshifts, and indeed this destructive interference can be magically known as the opposite of this other sound because humans beings are considering it so and that makes it so." And there are a couple of other things about the physics through the books that are done that way.

    What's the in world reason that it's like that? That is a RAFO.

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    Katelyn Gigante

    After the epilogue, when Odium took Hoid's memories, did he gain them or just remove them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He removed them, he did not gain them. He excised them, he performed a little surgery on the Breaths. You have seen this happen before in the books, though I will not give spoilers to another book. It happened on a different world.

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    What does it mean that Kaladin is close to Honor, and how did that factor into him staying conscious while every other Windrunner in the tower didn't?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The nuts and bolts answer is, Kaladin basically was in a place where he could say the next oath, and should have said the next oath, and indeed knew the next oath, and it was on his tongue, and he refused to. So basically he was as close to being the next level of Knights Radiant as a person could humanly get, because everyone considered him ready except himself. He even knew that he was ready, but by saying it, it would require him to give up something that was precious to him, which is his feeling guilty. A precious part of his identity as he saw it. And he would have to relinquish that. That's the bulk of it.

    The other bulk of it is, the level to which Kaladin tries to protect, the level to which Kaladin exemplifies the Ideals of the Windrunners, and indeed of the way that Honor would have all Knights Radiant act, is so over the top, in alignment with the way Honor would like it to be, that it could even be considered unhealthy. Remember, Honor didn't always encourage healthy relationships with things like the power, particularly later in his existence. So either way, Kaladin is just kind of extra aligned with that intent, if that makes any sense.

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    How can splintered seons like Mraize's leave their planet, while spren cannot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a big mystery in the Cosmere, so it is a RAFO. This is actively... The answer to that question is a big step toward doing what Mraize wants to do. And they haven't figured it out yet. There are lots of theories. And indeed, Elantris and its magic systems tend to be the oddball among Cosmere magic systems in a lot of ways. This is all related to how things work and the various things that are odd about the Elantris magic system. So I'm going to RAFO that with a "why don't you theorize along those lines?" They are trying to figure it out, and obviously they do, because (spoilers) I have read things that indicate that this is possible in the future.

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    Is there a reason for why so many early Radiants were family? Including theorized ones, we have Tien and Kaladin, Jasnah and Elhokar, Dalinar and Renarin, Shallan and Helaran...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, so I can give you the "how the sausage is made," I call this the narrative reason vs the in-world reason. I can give you both.

    In-world reasoning is that, when these bonds are forming, these human beings have bonds to other people, and that naturally leads the spren along those bonds. When Kaladin is forming a bond with a windspren [honorspren], and windspren [honorspren] start looking, or even other sapient spren start looking for people, they're going to notice. Remember, they're coming into the Physical Realm, it's very hard for them. They're doing this partially from the Cognitive Realm, searching and trying to get pulled through by the attention and the bond that is forming. They're naturally led to other people who are related. You could even say that, because of Tien, Syl found Kaladin.

    I built this in for a narrative reason, and the narrative reason is: we generally are going to want to have a larger than average number of people among the core characters, who are involved in the magic system, and involved in the narrative. Because the magic system is so important in my books, I knew that I was gonna have a lot of friends and family of main characters end up with spren bonds.

    But I don't think this is unusual. In fact, I think this is more true to life. It's not one of those coincidences we make up for a book; it's one of those coincidences that happens in life that seems unusual. It seems unusual if you look at it and say, "There are five people who became full-time in the publishing industry during the year Brandon was a senior at BYU. And they are all friends; in fact, they were all friends before they got published." This seems unusual; like, why didn't anyone else? There is nobody else that I know that broke in into the industry from that year. Maybe it happened, but nobody I knew who wasn't in our immediate friend group. Well, this is not that surprising if you actually look at it, because when one person breaks in, it becomes so much easier for everyone else that knew that person. Not just for networking reasons. (Networking reasons: obvious). The other obvious one is: the people are gonna know each other because they're all gonna be moving in the same circles, looking for each other without knowing it. They're gonna be looking for other good writers, and they're gonna be making connections with them. They're gonna notice when people ask questions in a class that are the right kinds of questions to be asking about getting published.

    But even beyond those two things, once I broke in, Dan Wells has said before he realized, "Brandon did this; this is real. He actually did this. I can do this." And indeed, he went and broke in. Once this thing that seems impossible, whether it's becoming a full time novelist, or forming a spren bond and becoming a Knight Radiant; once you've seen somebody do it, it becomes way easier for you to conceive of yourself doing it. This is why C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were in the same writing group. This is why you see this sort of thing happening all around the world and in all sorts of professions, that people who were friends together... Every time that people are like, "Wow, these three major Hollywood stars knew each other in high school." Well, yes, that is actually more likely to happen than not, because of all these reasons I've talked about.

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    Phillip Denny

    Is there a "how the sausage is made" reason why there are 16 Shards, instead of 15 or 17?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it splits really nice on a table. When I was developing the Cosmere in general, I was looking for... the division of multiples of 2 is just so much fun for designing things like the Allomantic Table. You can do that with 10, you can do that with 15, yes. I find aesthetically pleasing the way that 16, 8, and groups of 4 work, and that's how I arrived at that number.

    I also did have some kind of boundaries on myself. I needed it to be a large enough number that it could cover the full group that I wanted to do in Dragonsteel, but it had to be small enough that people could track them all. 16 is a little on the high end for that, but doable, I believe. Particularly since you really only have to track all 16 when I write the Dragonsteel stories. (You'll really have to track 17 because we have Hoid, who did not take one.) But lately, you have at least one of the Shards being combined, and others of the Shards no longer being relevant to the course of stories, and things like that. So you won't actually, in the future, have to track 1.

    But it was a nice number for what I wanted to do; not too big, not too small, and I liked how the divisions broke down. And I knew I was going to do 10 with Roshar by that point. If I was gonna pick 10, I would have to use 10 again in Mistborn, which I could do, but I wanted to have different themes. I wanted their tables and math to look a little different visually on the page, since they were two pillars. So 10 and 16 felt like the two good pillars. The Aether world is a 12 world, so we'll have a 12 also. The Aether world does not play into things nearly as much, but it'll depend on how many books I write using the Aethers in the future.

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    Cody Taylor

    What was the scene in Rhythm of War that you had planned or thought of twenty years ago?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin jumping off the top of the tower to save his father. Into the storm. I have been working on that scene in one way or another, like, forever. This was a scene I was planning in the original write of Way of Kings, though I don't think it was his father in that, because the relationship with his father was not the same in Way of Kings Prime. It was probably Dalinar back then, but it's been twenty years or so. But this scene of Kaladin jumping off, going into the darkness of a storm, and emerging like a lightning bolt afterward, is one of those pivotal, foundational scenes that built the core of how the Stormlight Archive was going to work, narratively.

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    Maxwell Goode

    Before he betrayed Bridge Four, had Moash attracted the attention of any Honorspren, like the other members of Bridge Four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So this was pretty early, so I would say probably not. But that's a RAFO. I can see opportunities in the future where I would want to retcon that. I don't think he did, I don't think most of them were attracting spren until middle of Oathbringer or early in Oathbringer, when we actually had kind of a mass influx of Honorspren who decided not to follow the rules and kind of, as a group, came looking for Knights Radiant. But it's not outside the realm of possiblity that Moash had attracted a rogue Honorspren like Syl. I don't have it right now as happening.

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    Gordon Kelsch

    Can Dalinar permanently bring someone back from the Spiritual Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. In fact, whether or not the voices he is hearing are legitimately voices from beyond the Spiritual Realm, or if they're a manifestation much like the visions that the Stormfather creates, where Dalinar's desire for certain things is basically creating... So when Dalinar goes into the visions, what's going on there is: these are not people with autonomy that he is interacting with. These are Investiture manifesting a basic AI that is able to adapt, cause Investiture kind of can do this.

    Dalinar would argue, "Yes, that's the case except for when I actually met Nohadon. That character felt different, that felt like the real Nohadon stretching through the Spiritual Realm and actually interacting." Jasnah would say, "No, that's because, Dalinar, you have such, in your mind, a hope and desire to see Nohadon, he's this mythological figure in your head, that basically the Stormfather's knowledge of who he actually was was creating this much more animated puppet that was more like actually how Nohadon was, but was based on knowledge of the spren and the Investiture that you're interacting with." And Dalinar would say, "I heard Evi's voice." Jasnah would say, "You heard the Investiture coming to life and speaking with her voice the things you needed to hear. And it wasn't that the Stormfather was like, 'He needs to hear this, I'm going to create this fake..' But it's instead your relationship with this magical force that does take on life of its own, manifesting this thing." Which one it is, I do not answer. Both are, I consider, equally valid interpretations of the text, and equally valid interpretations of the magic system.

    Once someone is passed into the Beyond, there is no force that can bring them back, according to people's understanding of the magic system. There is even the argument that Cognitive Shadows are not the person. That the Cognitive Shadow is indeed a spren with the memories and an imprint of the person's personality that becomes self aware and continued on living that person. It's kind of the same question that arises in Star Trek. When you are ripped apart and rebuilt piece by piece with the transporter, some people in Star Trek do not believe you are becoming the same person again. You are then a different individual who has been cloned from the person and had the memories attached. Functionally, in the narrative, for the reader, it's the same. Is it the same soul or not? That question is answered differently by different people in the Cosmere. There are equally valid interpretations from the reader. You get to decide, basically. You get to decide, just like if there's a story where a person's brain is uploaded to a computer, you get to decide: is that the same person? Because we can't do that, we don't know. Is that the exact same individual, or is that a computer simulation of that person, where the person has died? That's what a Cognitive Shadow essentially is, but using Cosmere physics instead of theoretical science fiction physics.

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    You said you would talk about the tone issue after the book comes out. What was that issue, and for which character?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the tone issue for Rhythm of War is just how dark things get in some of the Kaladin viewpoints. We've had some rough times for Kaladin through this series, and I wouldn't say that this is necessarily darker than book one, for instance, or even some parts of book two. But one thing we were noticing with the beta readers is: stacking what was happening to Kaladin on top of a worldwide pandemic that was causing general anxiety in a lot of the population was making some beta readers overreact to Kaladin, the darkness in his thing. At the same time, I thought... "Overreaction's" the wrong term, right? It was the right reaction for them, it's not that they overreacted. But they reacted stronger than I think people would have in another year

    And this left me with the difficult choice of: is this an actual tone problem with the book, or is this the function of the fact that everybody's really stressed right now? And I decided to walk a middle ground between this. I decided that even if it was a stronger reaction, there are things I could do that would just generally improve the book, that wouldn't make it worse, but would also help with this issue. The main thing that I looked to do was make sure that Shallan and Adolin's sequences were lightened up through most of their sequence. Even though some tough stuff was happening with Shallan and her viewpoints, particularly at the beginning, I wanted to back off on...

    What I mostly did was: I added a few more scenes with Shallan and Adolin that were more "let's investigate a mystery, let's problem solve" but not "oh my goodness everything is wrong with Shallan, this is really stressful." This doesn't include the starspren scene, that was already there. But this does include... I think it's the second Shallan viewpoint in that part where they're crossing the ocean. That second Shallan viewpoint or maybe the third, there's one in there I added specifically to be like: let's show some healthy relationship stuff going on, just to balance out the fact that stuff's really dark over with Kaladin.

    This might be a slight spoiler for the next book, but I can tell you Kaladin has now turned the corner, I would say. You should be expecting from now on: Kaladin's still gonna have dark days, Kaladin has depression. But he turned a major corner in this book, and I'm very proud of him.

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    Dominic Field

    If Kaladin's Shardplate is made of windspren, would the other Orders also have Shardplate made of lesser spren?

    Brandon Sanderson


    Dominic Field

    Would Lightweavers have Plate made up of creationspren, for instance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they would. You should be able to guess, for the major Orders that we've spent a lot of time with, what their Shardplate is made out of. There have been hints from book one what those are. Theoretically, you should be able to kind of put that together. You're not gonna be able to put it together for some of the Orders, 'cause we just haven't gotten into it as much; we haven't spent enough time with them. But you should be able to start putting this all together in relationship to the Shardplate. At least there's three or four of them that I think I've made very obvious.

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    Will there be Enlightened spren of other Radiant Orders than Truthwatchers, and why does Sja-anat like Truthwatchers so much?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The reason Sja-anat likes Truthwatcher spren the most is because they are the most willing. And she considers what she's doing offering Enlightenment, not corrupting. And she considers their willingness to be a part of this. Outside observers might consider her methods less... involving less volition on the parts of some of the spren that she touches. They might argue with her on that point. In this case, as it comes with the two Truthwatcher spren that you see in the books, they both went to what they are willingly. Fully willingly to become what they are. They are, you might say, participants in her plans. So that's why she wants them.

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    If Szeth were to have drawn Nightblood immediately after he had consumed Rayse, would he still have drained Szeth's Stormlight? As it said he seemed like he had eaten as much as he could.

    Brandon Sanderson

    At that point, Nightblood had entered into essentially a food coma... Well, no, the food coma one came when he was drawing from the perpendicularity. I don't think he was in food coma mode at that point. I think that he could still have drawn more at that point, I'd have to go look at exactly what I wrote, if I'd put him into food coma mode or not. It is possible.

    This is one of the things I wanted to answer with the book. A lot of people have been theorizing, could Nightblood eat an entire Shard? And indeed, Nightblood could not eat an entire Shard. That is not within his capability. In fact, one of the reasons that he leaks Investiture is: he's too stuffed full of it. There is more Investiture in the sword Nightblood than it can actually hold, it's supersaturated. And it leaks Investiture (that it's done some weird things to). But it is constantly hungry for more and constantly leaks it, but it definitely can get full for a time, and it could not eat an entire Shard.

    I did see questions about that from people floating around, and it's something I'd been meaning to get to eventually. Nightblood is definitely relevant to things that are happening in the Cosmere, but it is not as simple as grabbing the sword, sticking it into a Shard, and defeating the Shard, unfortunately. Though, as you see in this book, there are reasons for a Shard to still be afraid of Nightblood. It didn't destroy Odium, but Rayse still really had a bad time.

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    Vishal Pani

    Why didn't Kaladin seek help from Zahel during the occupation of Urithiru?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Zahel... At some point I'll tell you what he was doing, but he was not available. That is a RAFO.

    It came up multiple times, and there were various points where I was going to delve into it, and it just was one of those things that I just could not fit in. It is a thing that I wanted to, because we have this foreshadowing that Zahel's there; like, we have a scene with him and Kaladin to remind everyone that Zahel's around. And then we don't even bring him up. Alpha readers asked about it, beta readers asked about it. I could not find time for it. So maybe you'll get a deleted scene that is not a deleted scene, that's just a scene that I eventually write, showing what he's doing. This is one of those things like: what happened with Elhokar and the Herdazians and why does Lopen think he's a king? That scene just never fit into the books either.

    Maybe I'll do it, maybe I won't. It's entirely possible, both options are possible. If I eventually never do it, I'll talk about it, but we are gonna have a little more Zahel in an upcoming volume of the Stormlight Archive, where some of these things coming out might fit into the story, to the point that your answers will come in that volume. There's a lot of various moving parts on what's going on with Zahel, and with Azure as well, and their relationship to Nightblood that there's just not space in the Stormlight Archive to talk about.

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    Tom Goldthwait

    At any point in the Rosharan history, was it possible to form a Nahel bond without swearing oaths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Nahel bond" is the phrase used for a bond between a spren and a being from the Physical Realm. That is the definition of it. So the answer to that is yes; it's currently possible right now. It's how greatshells exist and grow to the size they do. It's how Ryshadium exist. Those are Nahel bonds also.

    What you're asking is if a sapient spren, a spren and a sapient individual, forming what we currently call the Radiant bond, which has access to much greater power; was that possible without swearing oaths? Yes and no. The formalization of the oaths and the Orders aligned with certain spren did take a little bit of time to come together. It was possible to form a Nahel bond before that, but it was not a Radiant bond accessing the levels of powers that are currently possible. So it's another one of these "yes and no" answers, if that makes any sense.

    You could find a Nahel bond... In fact, many would call the bond between the singers and the spren that give them forms Nahel bonds. It may not fit fully into the categorization that most people would use it for, but you could kinda call that the same thing.

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    Did true spren prior to the Recreance have many mannerisms and societies based on the singers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This gets into tricky sorts of things, because there's a long history to Roshar. So when you ask a question like this, the question becomes: when? There is a time when the spren were mostly focused on the singers. And there's a time before the humans arrived when they were fully focused on the singers. And so, the answer to that question is "yes", but I don't think that's what you're asking. I think you're asking: "During the years of the various Returns and things like that," and the answer then would be: "No, not in large quantities." What is happening here, with Rlain and Venli and the crowd, is all kind of new ground for both them and the singers. Both the spren and the singers.

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    Ramba Ral

    How would a person with a Cognitive Shadow, like Szeth or the Heralds, look to someone in the Cognitive Realm? Would they appear to be just another soul? Or different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the question is, are there differences about a Cognitive Shadow in the Cognitive Realm. The answer is yes, but the way they became a Cognitive Shadow is going to influence how they look. And there are other little things playing into that. You could generally tell this if you knew what you were looking for. So the answer to that is a yes, but a qualified yes.

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    Ben McSweeney

    Just to illustrate the full scale of the Atrium, I extended this up a bit. :)

    It makes the repetition more severe, but that's to be expected since all I did was copy-paste the tiers up to the seventh level. This still gives us a decent idea of the full height of the open space, though. And of course that space continues out along the avenue from the fifth tier down, with skylights in the ceilings and hanging towers at the end of each level, creating a sort of inverted staircase effect that I really ought to try and paint sometime (I find the scale a bit dizzying myself, though).

    Isaac and I briefly wondered whether there ought to be microclimate problems with an open area this big, rain falling from condensation collecting at the top, but we figure the Tower's automated environmental systems deal with that for the most part.

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    Was...was that a Patrick rothfuss reference in Wit’s story? The man in an inn whose name was stolen from him who tells stories?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It’s not. It is a reference to something in WoT fandom.


    Hmm, which inn is this is WoT? I can't seem to relate to one.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It’s not from the Wheel of Time itself. It’s a meta fandom reference.


    As in a Dusty Wheel reference or what?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It's something more like that.

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    Will this [Skyward 3/4 planned release dates] likely affect the next Mistborn books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This shouldn't change the Mistborn book schedule, good question. What this will stop me from doing is another side project second half of next year--that slot will be Skyward 4 instead.


    Is this just a generic ' side project' or did you have anything specific in mind, which is now for a later date?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generic side project. I generally allow myself to just pick whatever feels right at the moment, and so try not to plan those. Everything else is so planned, it's nice to be free to pick whatever I want.

    That said, one probably won't happen this year.

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    Is Raboniel lying about the composition of the housing for the ruby in this dagger, or is she telling the truth? Is it really a silver-nickel alloy, or is is it something else (possibly nicrosil)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO this. Interesting conclusions and theories in that post above. Very interesting indeed.

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    I recall Brandon saying he was going to make a children’s book for the girl who looked up anyone know what happened to that? I’d love to get one for dragon and the dog

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am considering it. I have this image in my mind of a final page, after "the end" is written, that depicts a large dragon trying to sleep in a dog's bed with a large chalkboard behind that says, "Steps to becoming a dog" on it.

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    Is Lift trans? Some of the specific scenes and wording when Lift stole the food from Rock's son seemed to indicate that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was not intentional. I have intended Lift to be assigned female at birth. I wouldn't play so coy with something that would be so relevant to trans readers.


    I think /u/Loose_Combination meant the other way around. She's experiencing body dysphoria very much in the way a transmaculine character would.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, I apologize. I didn't read closely enough.

    So yes, there is something here. More her body disphoria is related to aging, and secondary sex characteristics are involved.

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    If there was Any shard to be offered to Hoid, it would have been this one [Whimsy].

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is far too calculating and deliberate for Whimsy. It might seem his style on the surface, but a deep dive into who he is would show that it's very much not who he is.


    Will we ever see the world or magic system for Whimsy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some day, hopefully.

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    Can you explain why he also calls himself Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted something that felt unique, but also would be simple. I wanted him to be able to use the name in multiple different books, and have it fit the linquistics. Usually, simple names are best for this. (Kim, for example, is a name you find in a variety of different countries with very different linguistics.)

    So it was both distinctive enough to stand out on the page, and not be boring like Jon or the like, but also wasn't long or too odd to fit in on different fantasy worlds.

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    Here's my theory, and I want to get it down here so when it turns out to be right I can say "See I called it!"

    ​Dalinar becomes the new Honor, Lift becomes the new Cultivation. Why? Cultivation touched three people, Dalinar, Taravangian and Lift. She planned for Taravangian to become the new Odium, so I figure the other two are the new Honor and her eventual successor Cultivation. At least this is Cultivation's plan, even if that's not exactly how it ends up happening.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO indeed.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward Three Update Two

    Hello! Brandon here again with another update on the third Skyward book, tentatively titled NOWHERE. This update might have slight spoilers for the first two books in the series. Find the previous update here.

    I've been working away on this book, slowly but surely, with progress every week. As I said in the first update, my outline for this book was quite solid, which let me jump right into the story with very little lost time. Which is good, as Dawnshard took a little more time from me than I'd wanted, so timing is a little tight on Nowhere.

    The good news is that the publisher (Delacorte, a Random House imprint) has agreed to publish the book Christmas 2021. This took some work on our part, and me agreeing to some pretty tight deadlines, as covid has caused delays all through the industry and the publisher wasn't excited by the prospect of me forcing a relatively early publication date. (Publishers would generally like an 12-18 moth lead time after book turn in to publication, and this one will have around ten months or so.)

    However, I think it's best to push a little to get the book done in time for next year--as Skyward fans have been required to wait while I did a Stormlight book in between. However, I've acknowledged to the publisher that if the book needs more than normal revisions (IE, something pops up in alpha/beta that takes work to fix) and I miss any deadlines, I'll agree to a spring 2022 release instead.

    So, how's that looking? Well, book is on target writing-wise. I'm at around 62k words as of last night, with a goal of having 90-100k done by January First. That should finish up the novel, save for the interludes, which I'm planning to do a little later. (For spoiler-ish reasons, I can't say why.)

    This series has a bit of a strange organization. I'd originally planned a trilogy, but as I worked on the outline for the second and third books, I felt that three books would be rushing things. I wanted to take this third book as a kind of focused character book, looking at Spensa in a rather new environment.

    Slight Spoilers: The reasons for this are twofold. First off, I really thought that by the end of Starsight she would need some time to work on a few things relating to her arc. Second off, I knew that coming off of a Stormlight book, I might need a book that was more of an isolated fun adventure--something very different from Stormlight, to help me have variety in my writing. It's working very well, though my big worry is that people will feel this book isn't as connected to the rest of the series (or the stakes aren't as high) because of it. I am doing what I can to mitigate this, as it really is the story I want to tell right now. Hopefully, you'll all agree that the little diversion in book three was worth the journey. Time will tell.

    Regardless, thank you for your patience, Skyward fans. The book IS coming. I hate taking a year off of the series like I did, but I don't think you'll have to suffer another of those. I anticipate the final book coming out Spring/summer 2022. (Theoretically, I'll be writing it second half of next year.)

    As always, I'll be turning replies to inbox off for this thread, in order to keep the inbox a little more organized. So I apologize in advance if I don't see to your comment/question!

    Happy Holidays. Next update should come in the early part of next year, as I am working on revisions. I'll let you know how it goes for hitting those deadlines! (Also, watch for the State of the Sanderson in little over a week to talk more about the projects I'm working on.)